Falana, SERAP react as NBA withdraws invitation to El-Rufai

A human rights lawyer, Femi Falana (SAN), and the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) have hailed the Nigerian Bar Association for withdrawing its invitation to Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai, who was scheduled to speak at its Annual General Conference next week.

The NBA in a tweet on Thursday said it had decided to remove El-Rufai from the list of its speakers, adding that the decision would be communicated to the governor.

A petition to stop the governor from attending the conference, which was started by a lawyer, Usani Odum, had garnered over 3,400 signatures on Change.Org as of 6 pm on Thursday.

They faulted the NBA for inviting El-Rufai citing his poor human rights record and his inability to stop the killings particularly in Southern Kaduna.

Reacting, SERAP also called on the NBA not to invite the representatives of the Federal Government until the President, Major-General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), began to obey court orders.

“We welcome the decision by the NBA to withdraw its invitation to Kaduna State Governor Nasir El-Rufai on grounds of poor human rights record. We also call on the NBA not to invite the Nigerian Government/its reps to its events until President Buhari obeys all outstanding court orders,” SERAP tweeted.

Also speaking on the matter, Falana said what happened to El-Rufai was evidence that even with immunity, a public official can be prosecuted in the court of public opinion.

Falana said, “What is happening with El-Rufai is evidence that people are watching. Even if you enjoy immunity under the Constitution, people can still prosecute you morally in the court of public opinion.”

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